Why is it like pulling teeth to get a child to learn nice cursive? Not one of my children (out of 7 so far) has ever said to me, "Mom! Can I do more handwriting?" But it's an essential skill. Even in our high tech world, you need to be able to write, and you need to at least be able to read cursive, if not produce it clearly.
We got to review The Rhythm of Handwriting, from Logic of English, which retails for $15.00. We received the workbook and a cursive chart. I like the laminated, tri-fold chart. It groups the letters by type, and gives step by step instructions how to form them. I would read the instructions to Jack, as he used his finger to trace the over sized letter on the page, then he would practice writing the letter.
I liked the 2 pages of Ideas For Handwriting Practice included in the front of the book. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, and it's nice to shake things up a little with a game or activity. Personally, I never would have thought of having the kids lay on their backs and use their leg to form a cursive letter in the air.
We worked on 2 letters each day. The book has 2 lines each of small, medium, large, and extra large font practice space. I knew Jack would balk at doing all of it, so I allowed him to select a line size and do one line. He would then circle his best letter and show it to me. For some letters, that was enough to demonstrate mastery, as Jack was starting to work on cursive at the end of last school year. For other letters, he needed additional help, and we would use another line or more. Once I noticed that he was always selecting the same size, I had him switch things up a little and do two letters in each size.
I like that students don't have to learn each individual letter before they start writing words. After they master the swing letters and the curve letters, they begin words from letters that connect at the baseline. Initially, when the book arrived, I thought of it as a "no frills" handwriting program, because it doesn't have cartoons or pictures like programs we've used in the past. However, upon getting into it, I realized that involving large motor skills, and tips for developing fine motor skills trump cutesy images when it comes to getting results. Reading the front of the book really helped me think about all that goes into learning to form letters correctly and neatly. I am pleased with this program and happily recommend it. If I find myself needing a handwriting program for one of the younger kids someday, I will be buying another copy.
The Rhythm of Handwriting has a suggested age of 7 and up, however, they do offer some suggestions for students 6 and under, if you feel your child is ready prior to age 7.
Logic of English has a website that is well worth poking around. I was happy to see free handwriting paper you can print. They offer several other interesting-looking products which were also reviewed by The Schoolhouse Review Crew. You can read more about those here:
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